Course Title AS/A Level Media Studies
Level: 3
Code MS026

Overview of the Course

This course enables you to analyse a variety of media products, with texts set by the awarding body. These include newspapers and magazines, television, film marketing and advertising, music video, computer games and online media. You will develop knowledge and understanding of media language, representation, audience and industrial and cultural contexts. Key media theories are also studied, with application and evaluation of these assessed through written examinations.

What are the career opportunities?

The creative and digital sector is a growth area for employment. ‘Greater Manchester has the largest creative and digital clusters in the UK, employing 63,500 people and generating GVA of £3.1 billion each year. Key assets include MediaCityUK (home of the BBC & ITV) and The Sharp Project’. (Source: Greater Manchester Forecasting Model, Visit Manchester, New Economy) ‘Over the last decade, employment has grown significantly in sectors such as ICT Digital, Communications, Creative, Digital and New Media…The effects of the Media City development can already be seen in the cultural and creative sector where there are now many more jobs for graduates in the arts or media, far above the national average.’ (Source: Manchester City Council Item 7 Economy Scrutiny Committee 9 January 2013). There are employment opportunities in a variety of areas, such as journalism (print and broadcast), television, film and radio production, research, advertising and marketing. The digital media and press/magazine sectors also offer opportunities within multimedia, graphics and photography. Media students from Bury College have gone on to work in Television Production/Direction, Radio Presenting and Production, Arts Fundraising and Project Management, Sports Programming, Sports Journalism, Marketing and Communications and as Art Director, Copywriter, Digital and Web Designer and Freelance Photographer. Former students currently work for Capital Radio, BBC Radio 4, Salford City Radio, Heat Radio, the BBC, the MEN, MUTV, BT Sport, ITV, Red Productions and Radio 5 Live and have been nominated for prestigious awards including BAFTAs and the Grierson Award for documentary.

What are the entry requirements?

The minimum entry requirements for access to an A Level Study Programme will be two subjects at grade B (or grade 5) and four subjects at grade C (or grade 4). A minimum Grade 4 (grade C) in English is a requirement of this course.

How long is the course and when can I start?

The A Level Study Programme is for usually two years, starting September.

How is the course structured and how will I be assessed?

There is a 30% coursework component which offers you the opportunity to use your own photographic, design and written skills to create original media products in a multimedia context. Components 1 (35%) and 2 (35%) are externally assessed through written examination with some unseen material.

What employability skills will I develop on this course?

You will develop a range of transferable skills including communication and numeracy. Technical skills will be developed through the coursework production component and the examined components will develop analytical and evaluative skills. Wider skills such as time-management, independent study, organisation and working to deadlines are an integral part of the course.

Work experience

Work experience is an essential element of your Study Programme and you will be supported to secure a five day work experience placement. This will allow you to gain first hand exposure to the sector you wish to work in, start to develop key employability skills and most importantly confirm your career goals. Previous placements for media students have included the BBC, Sky Sports and Sky News, MUTV, the MEN, Lime Pictures, Bury and Rochdale FC marketing and press departments, Company Pictures (Skins and Shameless), Shed Productions (Waterloo Road), XFM, Pink Productions, Key 103, Channel M, Radio 1, Gate Films, the Rochdale Observer, the Bury Times, Tower FM and Xplode magazine.

Study programme enrichment opportunities

Your Study Programme will support personal development to ensure you make good progress and acquire the skills required for successful progression to employment, an apprenticeship or higher education. Enrichment includes guest speakers (including former students working in the media industries) and trips/visits. Previous media/film trips have included the Media careers convention at G-Mex, the BBC, Media City, Warner Bros Studios, Aesthetica Film Festival and Futuroscope (Poitiers).

Are there any additional costs or requirements?

A high-spec USB memory stick with a minimum 50GB capacity is invaluable for coursework purposes.

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